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Populous-designed events center opens in Waco

The project cost $32 million.

June 03, 2021 |
The BASE exterior at dusk

Photos courtesy Populous

The BASE (Business, Arts, Sports, and Entertainment), a new $32 million multipurpose facility, recently opened at the Extraco Events Center in Waco, Texas. Populous designed the project with the goal of bringing more business and tourism to Waco in the form of sports tournaments, concerts, meetings, trade shows, and community events.

The design of The Base makes the site feel like a campus. The building’s exterior features ample spaces for people to gather and sit in the shade. An outdoor front porch area can be used for breakout space during conferences, a reception, or mingling area during social events. A central, open concept food service area also links this outdoor space with the event hall. Portable points of sale an operable walls allow the experience to be customized for operational efficiency and to the size of the event.


The BASE outdoor porch


Parkings lots were created with flexibility, with the integration of power, water, and sewer to allow for farmer’s markets, vendors, and to enhance amenities for the Fair’s carnival midway and livestock and equestrian competitors.

Translucent panels and windows bring natural light into all public spaces. This openness and transparency also helps to give attendees connection to the outdoors and offers a sense of placemaking.

The BASE is the first project to be built from Populous’ 40-year master plan for the site and will act as the new front door. Future phases of the master plan include expansion and addition of facilities for equine and livestock events.


The BASE interior banquet


The BASE interior volleyball set up

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